Williamson Magor & Co, an investment arm and one of the holding companies of Khaitan family-led Williamson Magor group, defaulted on the payment of Rs 164.78 crore towards repayment of principal and interest on loan facilities from banks and financial institutions for the fourth quarter last fiscal.

In a stock exchange filing, the Kolkata-based company said total financial indebtedness of the entity, including short-term and long-term debt, stood at Rs 513.67 crore as on March 31, 2024.

According to the company’s annual report for FY23, lenders are HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Punjab National Bank, among others. 

Significantly, the company had also defaulted in repayment of principal and interest on loans to the lenders for the third quarter of FY24.

After announcing the third quarter results on February 7, Williamson Magor & Co said, “During the quarter ended December 31, 2023, the company’s financial performance has been adversely affected due to external factors beyond the control of the company and a negative net worth due to the classification of loans and advances as non-performing assets. The company has defaulted in repayment of principal and interest on loans to the lenders and others and the liquidity issues faced by the company are being discussed with them.”

The company said it was in dispute with its secured lenders, namely HDFC Bank and Incred Financial Services (formerly KKR Financial Services), and accordingly, its board of directors had decided not to recognize interest on such borrowings for the third quarter last fiscal as the same was unascertainable at present.

It reported a net loss of around Rs 15 crore on a consolidated basis for Q3FY24, against a net profit of Rs 20 crore for Q3FY23. Its revenue from operations during the third quarter of last fiscal fell to Rs 52.54 lakh from Rs 12.30 crore for the corresponding period previous fiscal.

The auditors raised questions about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.

Notably, financially stressed Williamson Magor group had lost control of Eveready, the country’s largest dry cell battery maker, two years ago.

In July 2022, the Burman family, promoters of Dabur India, reclassified itself as the promoters of Eveready Industries, replacing Khaitans.

Moreover, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had last year approved a resolution plan of BTL EPC, the engineering division of Kolkata-based Shrachi Group, to acquire debt-ridden McNally Bharat Engineering, which was an engineering firm of the Williamson Magor group.